STAT, October 23, 2017
Andrew Joseph


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[...] Jessie and Samantha’s story speaks to an emerging ethical morass in the field of reproductive medicine: what to do when patients seeking to get pregnant select embryos with DNA that could lead to a disease or disability. Should clinicians’ desire to help their patients have children override concerns about possibly doing harm to those children? And what about cases in which patients — like Samantha and Jessie — end up with only one viable embryo through in vitro fertilization?

As Dr. Sigal Klipstein, a reproductive endocrinologist at InVia Fertility in the Chicago area, put it: “Would I rather have this baby with this disorder or no baby at all?”

The issue also pokes at a broader puzzle ethicists and experts are trying to reckon with as genetic testing moves out of the lab and further into the hands of consumers. People have access to more information about their own genes — or, in this case, about the genes of their potential offspring — than ever before. But having that information doesn’t necessarily mean it can be used to inform real-life decisions. [...]

bioethics biotechnology regulation reproductive rights reproductive technologies